Thursday, March 19, 2009

Christian Persecution: Is is closer than we think?

Mom & I were talking the other day & I mentioned that I had been taking my Bible to work this past week because I had gotten behind in my daily reading to keep up with my church's "New Testament in a Year" commitment. I told her I was just waiting for the day when I would be fired or at least asked not to bring it to work. She said she didn't think that would happen. Then I told her about the case of the British Airways employee who was fired for wearing a cross necklace & the British nurse who was suspended for offering to pray for one of her patients.

Mom was a bit surprised but things are much different here in America. If you read my earlier post, you will see that Missouri has now advised police that Christians should be considered possible potential terrorists. Here are a few other cases that have been publicized recently:

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Hospice Chaplain Resigns Over 'God' Ban

A hospice chaplain in Florida has resigned in protest to a ban on use of the words "God" and "Lord" in public settings.

Rev. Mirta Signorelli had worked for seven years at Hospice by the Sea in Boca Raton. Signorelli said the chaplains were told in February to "cease and desist from using 'God' in prayers."

The hospice CEO said the ban on religious references only applies to staff meetings, but Signorelli claims the ban will also force her to censor her words while leading prayers in the chapel and when meeting patients.

"If you take God away from me," Signorelli told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, "it's like taking a medical tool away from a nurse."

— Devon Williams

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Christian Doctor Fired for Ties with Christian Group

The city of Minneapolis suspended Dr. Michael Campion, a psychologist who administered employment testing for the city, after officials learned of his affiliation with the Illinois Family Institute, a pro-family, Christian organization.

In 2006, the city hired a testing company to evaluate Campion. Though the results showed no evidence that his work was flawed or biased, the city still terminated its relationship with Campion.

Jim Campbell, litigation counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, was disappointed by the city's actions.

"The government shouldn't penalize Christian contractors for their beliefs," Campbell said. "When the city of Minneapolis terminated their relationship with this doctor for no reason other than his affiliation with a pro-family group, it clearly violated his constitutional rights."

— Devon Williams

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Pennsylvania Cop Punished for Refusing to Arrest Christians

Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) filed a lawsuit Monday against officials of Pennsylvania's Kutztown University and its police chief. The officials punished a police officer who refused to arrest a group of Christians sharing their faith on campus.

Steven Armbruster was ordered by K.U. Police Chief William Mioskie to remove the group of Christians from campus for "disorderly conduct." Armbruster, who said he saw no evidence of disorderly conduct by the Christians, explained to Mioskie that he believed this would violate the group's constitutional rights. Armbruster was placed on administrative leave, suspended without pay for five working days and threatened with termination.

"Police officers who understand and respect the constitutional rights of American citizens should be commended, not punished," said ADF-allied attorney Randall L. Wenger.

— Devon Williams

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Here is a video that explains what happened at Kutztown University that day. As you will see the peaceful Christians are forced to endure insults & have their First Amendment rights stomped on by the angry crowd yet they, the Christians, are the ones that are arrested for "disorderly conduct."

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? -- Romans 8:35

That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. -- 2 Corinthians 12:10

32Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. 33Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. -- Hebrews 10:32-34

Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. -- Revelation 2:10

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